TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

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Messages - kooz

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Prerecorded Tapes / Re: The Shins revisited
« on: August 30, 2013, 10:43:30 AM »

Thank you for the reply.  I think this pretty much confirms my suspicions, which is disappointing to say the least, but it's good to have some sort of closure, haha...

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: The Shins revisited
« on: August 28, 2013, 04:09:57 PM »
Hey guys, first post here.  Sorry to necro this really old thread, but I got impatient waiting for a response at this other forum.

The following is an excerpt from the aforementioned post:

The first thing I notice (since I'm usually staring at my tape deck while listening) is the VU meters are almost immediately PEGGED at max level, and they only rarely drop into metered range. On my RT-707 this is registered as 3+ dB. I can't help but feel this is bad for the meters - an audible "tick" can be heard whenever they bounce into the ceiling...

Audibly, several passages, especially the harder-hitting bass and driving beats, seem to exhibit distortion.

After playing through the first side, I decided to try side two in my Tascam 22-4. Being a (slightly) newer, semi-professional deck, it may be calibrated for a higher output tape. The meters on that deck max out at +5 dB. Despite that, the result was essentially identical: meters completely bottomed-out for the majority of playback. Same or similar distortion observed during heavier passages.

I just checked against my vinyl copy, as well as a FLAC CD rip... the distortion is not present in either copy. I want to say it sounds like tape saturation... but it seems naive to assume the mastering/duplication engineers let this happen, intentionally or not.

It seems perhaps the output on the tape is too much for my decks' heads and/or electronics to handle. I can record on these decks and bounce into the top end of the VU with decent tape (UD, UD-XL/XLI) all day long... I don't suspect my decks to be problematic, just insufficient.

There has been some mention earlier in this topic about this release using SM911... that should be a +6 dB tape, right? Does that mean the average should be floating around +6 dB? Or should it be +6 peak? Either way, I would almost be inclined to believe this is on SM900, as constantly being over +5 dB seems really high, even if the intent is to average +6 db...

Then again, I just took a peak at the 1st track off the CD rip, and the dynamic range is definitely pretty heavily compressed. I guess it's conceivable that they'd be able to park the meters pretty much in-place if they used this source. That would definitely be a disappointment, but maybe the vinyl looks the same too. I haven't checked that out. I would find it hard to believe, though, considering the technical limitations with that format.

Either way, I've gotta wonder... SM911, SM900, +6, +9 dB... what does it matter how high of SNR you're getting from the tape if it doesn't sound right on a typical consumer-level (the format they chose) tape deck?. If they intended us to play it on Studers and ATRs they probably should have released through the Tape Project.

I'm curious what others with this tape have to say on the matter. Is everyone else's deck up to the task?

Having read through this thread (after arriving here via Google), I am particularly intrigued regarding the section I highlighted in bold...  My assumption was that whoever was in charge of dubbing these reels knew what the hell they were doing.  The opinions being tossed around here have me starting to cast doubt though.

Is the general consensus that these tapes (I have #058, BTW) are basically junk, sonically?  Or could I possibly be "on to something" regarding the need for higher-end gear to unlock their hidden potential?  Is there any validity to the idea that a +6 or +9 tape, played back on a ~0dB calibrated deck could overdrive the heads or their supporting electronics?

Has anyone given this tape a try in a deck that's been calibrated to something like SM900?

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